- THE MAGAZINE
My brother Rob, who worked with me at the time, has since had two full knee replacements. Now that he is bionic with full titanium knees, he can withstand maximum abuse, so I have suggested he consider going into full-time carpet installation. He has yet to buy into the idea.
The instrument of my pain was the good old indispensable knee kicker. This device makes you use brute force and the top of your knee to stretch carpet back onto the tack strip. It has been around for many years, and will probably always be necessary to some extent. However, it is certainly not the tool of choice for complete installation or re-installation of wall-to-wall carpeting.
I don’t know why nobody thought of it before, but now there is a solution to sore knees, poles, and power stretchers that is accepted by all major carpet manufacturers and professional install trainers. It is called Behr Claws, developed by two professional carpet installers, Tim and Jerry Behr. It is one of those simple, “Why didn’t I think of it?’ inventions. With Behr Claws, any professional carpet cleaner, restoration professional or carpet installer can make quick work of turning a rumpled mess into perfectly stretched-in carpet. It even works with furniture still in the room.
Behr Claws works by using the tack strip as an anchor point. Its claws grab onto the wall side of the tack strip. Use the head from any regular power stretcher to engage the carpet and achieve a perfect professional stretch without puncturing. It works on wood or concrete sub-floors, and is amazingly fast and easy to use.
I wish I’d had this gadget all those years ago. All you do is unhook the carpet from the tack strip, stretch, re-attach to the tack strip, cut the excess, and tuck the edge under the baseboard. There’s nothing difficult about it, and your knees will thank you. If you liked this article, circle 145 on the Reader Inquiry Card.